By definition being emotionally overwhelmed means to be completely submerged in your thoughts and emotions, to the point where you feel frozen or paralyzed. It’s that feeling of being buried underneath cares so big that we feel defeated before we even begin to unravel it. Far too many thoughts are swirling around in your head, too many tasks to get done and problems to be solved and instead of moving forward, you shut down because you don’t know where to start.
In this season, in particular, we’ve had a lot of new things to process.
Even a simple trip to the grocery store is not what it used to be. We are bombarded with endless conflicting information through news, social media and conversations at work and home. Processing these constant shifts and changes can be mentally overwhelming.
We sometimes feel overwhelmed in short bursts in the normal routines of life. We experience a busy week at work and home that can make us feel overwhelmed from time to time. But prolonged and intense feelings of overwhelm can be exhausting and debilitating. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, despair and complete hopelessness. Like you’ll never pull through this or get your head above water again.
We feel stuck, unable to move forward, to make a decision or complete a task because the whole thing feels like it’s just too much. Confusion and chaos consume our thought life, and the more time we spend sitting on the couch worrying about how to get through, the less energy you have to take productive steps forward.
The enemy often whispers to me when I’m overwhelmed that it’s because I’m not as smart or as capable as others. He encourages me to quit.
The rhetoric in my head goes something like this… If it’s this difficult then I’m surely not the right girl for the job. There must be someone else who is much more talented who could walk through this mess without batting a pretty little eyelash. Everyone would be better off if I just back off and leave it alone.
It’s a shame game that keeps me from admitting or talking about feeling overwhelmed.
The truth is everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time. Shame keeps us from talking about it and we go on thinking everyone else has their lives pulled together and believing we are the only one who is a chaotic mess.
Isolation only fuels the chaos in our minds and is a tool of the enemy to intimidate us and keep our issues hidden in the darkness where he can continue to torment us.
Feeling overwhelmed is most often a breakdown in your thought life, not your actual life. When you get to process your thoughts healthily, things can change rather quickly.
Romans 8:5-6 CSB
For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 CSB
We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
It is possible to take every thought captive and bring them into submission. Your thought life doesn’t need to derail your productivity and keep you stuck. You have the mind-set of the Spirit that brings life and peace. But sometimes we need some super practical help to sort through the thoughts that are swirling in our minds.